Can components be connected with a zone fill instead of tracks?

Newbie here. KiCad 5.1 on Win 10. My layout has 7 through hole resistors that all connect at one node, which is not power or GND. I thought I could create a pour to connect them since they are all within a square half inch, instead of with traces. This is my first attempt at using a fill. I Placed a Zone, and in the window I chose the Net of one of the resistors’ pads that is common. I noticed that all seven pads show this Net when I zoom in PCBNew. When I choose fill, the border shows a cross hatch around the perimeter, but there is no solid fill color, and when I click on the pads in Create Tracks mode they act like they are not connected but need to be (all highlight). Also, when I choose “Fill Zone” there is a window that flashes quickly that could be an error message I am unable to see. Any advice would be appreciated. Silly me - I haven’t given up yet and just drawn tracks - I would like to know how to create an island. Thank you in advance.

You need to choose the highligthed option to show a filled zone.

Thank you - I hadn’t noticed that button - I assumed that it would show the fill, since I had created a zone and fill for GND, which worked as I expected and shows the fill. I then deleted that zone and fill and tried the one I mentioned above that is not GND or power. I will try your suggestion and see if it works.

Also, Filling a zone is a relatively intensive CPU calculation, and therefore not done automatically. If you’ve moved a component or drew tracks through a zone, hit the B shortcut key to re-fill the zone.

There is no time pressure for posting on a forum.

I will try your suggestion and see if it works.


I followed your suggestion and …

Working with zones is explained in two of our tutorials:

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Two hints:

  1. If you do your “Tie” copper fill within GND copper plane, make sure that you raise priority level for your “Tie”,
  2. Assign Net name manually (Label in EESCHEMA) so a) it will be easier to find and b) you will not risk it being automatically renamed during some update.

Personally I found it much easier to initially link the pads with some actual traces, before adding a fill around them.

This let me do the layout with sort of a connectivity map, while traces are very easy to shove around. Then once things were sorted out topologically, I could go back and thicken things up with zone fills.

Increasing the priority of the “inner” zones to keep the ground fill out, was the magic ingredient. (It’d be lovely if two intersecting zones, of the same priority but assigned to different nets, would throw an appropriately verbose error that hints at changing the priority of one of them. This is one place that DRC could guide the user to finding an easily-missed option.)


To Paul’s point - point made, taken, and appropriate. At the time, I impulsively gave up and used a track to get the job done. The tutorial you linked to is excellent, and not one of those I had seen. I just tried this again on the design in question, and on the first two tries I still could not get a fill. In desperation I selected “no net”, and I got a fill that did not include the pads. On the right track, so to speak. Changing back to the net in question, and an alignment of planets, I obtained the desired result. The other replies are a hint of more options to know and learn. Thank you to all for the assistance and suggestions.

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